About Us

Who's Who

Kathleen Hill
Kathleen Hill
Summer Camp Teacher
Board of Directors


Kathleen Hill is the founder/director of Central Coast Music Academy, Inc., a non-profit organization focused on expanding instrumental music for elementary/middle school students in San Luis Obispo County. She recently returned to the Land of Enchantment following five successful years on California’s central coast, where she was the conductor for “Super Bows!,” the entry-level string ensemble of the San Luis Obispo Youth Symphony.

She is currently the conductor/instructor at Alma d’Arte Charter High School for the Arts and is also a founding director of Southwest Music Academy, Inc. both in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Both CCMA and SWMA offer instrumental programs for students, including summer camps.

Hill received her Bachelor of Music Education degree (viola and piano concentration) and Master of Music degree (Instrumental Conducting) from the University of New Mexico. She studied viola with Atar Arad, John DiJanni of the Metropolitan Opera, and Leonard Felberg. She studied conducting with Dr. Jorge Perez-Gomez. In January, 2016 Kathleen was the conductor of the 2016 New Mexico Music Educator’s Association All-State Concert Orchestra. She directed the orchestra at Mayfield High School in Las Cruces from 1998 until 2011. During her tenure at Mayfield, the orchestra was NMMEA honor orchestra in 2001 and 2004. She also led the orchestra during concert tours in China (2007) and England (2010). Prior to teaching at Mayfield, Hill directed orchestras at Cibola High School from 1987 to 1997 and Rio Rancho High School from 1997 to 1998. The Cibola orchestra was recognized as NMMEA All-State honor orchestra in 1991 and 1996 and the Rio Rancho orchestra won the Heritage Music Festival’s National Competition in 1998, the school’s very first year.

Hill has been a member of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Santa Fe Symphony, the El Paso Symphony, El Paso Opera, Las Cruces Symphony, San Luis Obispo Symphony, Santa Maria Philharmonic, Opera San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo Ballet and Santa Barbara’s State Street Ballet. She also has performed with the San Juan Symphony, Opera Southwest and the Figueroa Project. In 2008, Hill was the recipient of the New Mexico Music Educators Association, Music Educator of the Year Award and was the 2013 Emeritus Teacher Award recipient. She was an instructor with the Albuquerque Youth Symphony, under the direction of Dale Kempter, for 22 years and is an active clinician and adjudicator throughout the southwest United States.

Larry Hill
Larry Hill
Summer Camp Teacher
Board of Directors



Larry Hill is the director of Brass Factory, a performing and mentoring organization in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He is a member of the New Mexico State University Faculty Brass Quintet and the Las Cruces Symphony and is a teacher with Southwest Music Academy (NM) and Central Coast Music Academy (CA). He is a staff member for the Jazz Program at Onate High School in Las Cruces and is on staff at Holy Cross Catholic School.

A graduate of the University of New Mexico and the Community College of the Air Force, he served in the United States Air Force Academy Band for over 23 years, where he was co-principal trumpet. During his Air Force career, he performed in 49 states and throughout the world, including more than 60 appearances in southwest Asia and the Horn of Africa in support of community engagement missions as well as troop support in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Hill served as director of public affairs for the USAF Academy Band and chief of community relations for Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. He is a former board member of the Santa Maria Philharmonic and Leadership Santa Maria and currently serves as national secretary/treasurer for the Air Force Musicians Association and serves on the board of the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program.

Larry has also performed with The Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony, New Mexico Symphony Orchestra (Now New Mexico Philharmonic), the Santa Maria Philharmonic, Lompoc Pops, San Luis Obispo Symphony, Opera SLO and Central City Swing Band. He maintains a large private studio and is an active performer and clinician in New Mexico.

 


Doug Poff
Douglas Poff
Summer Camp Teacher
Board of Directors


Douglas Poff is a string specialist for the Las Cruces (NM) Public Schools at Picacho and Vista Middle Schools. Prior to his 13 years in Las Cruces, he taught for six years at Seoul International School in Seoul, South Korea.

In addition to maintaining a private studio of students, he performs on viola with the El Paso Symphony and with the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra. Poff has also played with the El Paso Opera, Juarez Symphony, Colorado Lyric Theater, and the San Juan Symphony.

During the summer break, he is on the faculty of Central Coast Music Academy and Southwest Music Academy. Poff is a 2010 inductee to the New Mexico Music Educator Association Hall of Fame and is a 2013 nominee for Las Cruces Public Schools Teacher of the Year. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Baylor University, Waco, Texas and a Master of Music Education from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Marcus Herron
Marcus Herron
Summer Camp Teacher



Marcus Herron is the music teacher at Rainier Beach High School with the Seattle Public Schools. He also teaches private music lessons for Music and Arts Music Stores, specializing in woodwinds (flute, clarinet, saxophone). He is currently rebuilding a full music program at Rainier Beach High School — consisting of band, orchestra, choir, piano, and guitar

Prior to accepting his position with Seattle Public Schools, Marcus worked for Amazon and taught middle and high school in Southern California. A saxophone player currently in his sixteenth year of teaching, he received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from New Mexico State University. Marcus has judged solo and ensemble festivals in Eastern New Mexico and conducted honor bands in Pasadena, California and San Diego, California.

He has been a consultant for the award-winning Los Angeles High School marching band and was the assistant band director for the award-winning Mayfield High School band program in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He holds teaching licenses in New Mexico, Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, California, and Washington.

Marcus has been a member of the faculty of Central Coast Music Academy since 2012.

Katie Tomicek
Katie Tomicek
Board of Directors



Ms. Tomicek is in her 22nd year as private flute instructor. Her students have consistently outperformed other flutists throughout New Mexico, producing over 130 All-State participants to date. Ms. Tomicek played flute and piccolo with the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra from 2000 to 2012 and served as the Executive Director of the Orchestra from 2012 to 2014. She currently teaches band in grades 5–8 and teaches general music grades 2–4 at Holy Cross Catholic School in Las Cruces, NM.

For the last 12 summers, Katie Tomicek has been the Camp Coordinator for the Southwest Music Academy's Summer Camp Program in Las Cruces. Beginning with the Middle School Band Camp, she expanded the summer program in 2008 to include a Middle School Orchestra Camp. Further expansion in 2009 provided Elementary School Music Camps and the addition of a high school component to the Orchestra Camp. Community response has been fantastic and she looks forward to another fun summer filled with music.

She earned her BS degree at University of Northern Colorado where she majored in business administration and music.